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Covid Vaccine - Lymph node swelling

rrs
rrs Member Posts: 16
edited October 2021 in Lymphedema

I have LE in my right arm. I had my first Covid vaccine shot in my left arm January 15. My arm was quite sore and a couple of days later I had a swollen lymph nodes under my arm. One was quite large and frightening. The swelling has gone down a lot but still there. I'm scheduled to have the second vaccine next week. I don't want to have the shot in the same arm and risk more swollen nodes. I'm going to ask to have it in my thigh. I've read that the thigh is a saver area than the buttock.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Looking online I found that swollen nodes could be a side effect of the vaccine.

Comments

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    If you check out the post: Will you get the covid vaccine! Moth posted this is a normal side effect. Someone else had the vaccine given in their thigh who had lymphedema.

  • yesiamadragon
    yesiamadragon Member Posts: 343

    I had mine in my butt because I heard about how sore the arm is after, and one is the LE risk arm and the other is the side I sleep on! I felt like I was hit by a bus after, but no pain in injection site of lymph node swelling. Hardly even felt the shot!

  • rrs
    rrs Member Posts: 16

    Yeslama, by "butt" do you mean in the upper muscle area? I was reading that having a shot in the butt could risk hitting the sciatic nerve. That's why I'm thinking of the thigh instead. Glad you didn't have any problems.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    The covid vaccine is an IM injection. There are 3 recommended sites for IM injections. The 4th - dorsogluteal is no longer recommended as injections there can damage the sciatic nerve.

    fig 1 sites for intramuscular injection

    The lymph node swelling is a systemic response so if someone were to get it, it would occur regardless of where the injection was done.

    As mentioned above, I posted about it on another thread on Jan 29. It's good to know that is a known side effect and it shouldn't be confused with a progression. The lymph node swelling might persist for some time after vaccination according to some oncologists. https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/164/topic...


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,934

    Thanks for the sensible information, Moth. I wonder if it will feel similar to the pneumonia shot? That hurt like the dickens! But I'm glad I got it, and I'll be glad to get my Covid shots if the backward state I live in ever gets its act together on distribution.

  • rrs
    rrs Member Posts: 16

    Thank you - this is helpful. I may still ask for the vaccine in my thigh. I have a lipoma (fatty lump) on my non-lymphedema upper arm. It is very close to where they put the shots and concerns me somewhat.


  • rrs
    rrs Member Posts: 16

    Those pneumonia shots do hurt. The first covid vaccine I had made my arm quite sore but it wasn't like the pneumonia shot. I did feel a bit yucky overnight but not too bad.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,065

    rrs - as I posted on your other thread, I had the 1st shot in my thigh on Friday. Small needle, small dose, no pain. Pfizer. I had some very minor swelling and the site was tender - not sore just tender.

    Moth - great diagrams for IM shots. Thanks. Much better that what I found. I used to get all shots in my hip/butt, but the pharmacist I use now did some research and said he preferred the thigh to avoid any possible sciatic nerve involvement.

    Tip for a thigh shot from NM on another thread - wear shorts under your clothes. Even better if it's not too cold - wear a skirt or dress w/shorts underneath.

  • Capri
    Capri Member Posts: 3

    I had the first shot of the Moderna vaccine a week ago. Other than 2-3 days of site (arm) sensitivity, and fatigue on Day 2, I’ve felt fine. Painwise, it doesn’t come near a mastectomy, and I had no swollen lymph nodes.

  • eveldon
    eveldon Member Posts: 31

    OMG! Thank you so much for posting this. I had my injection on my left arm (18 nodes taken from right) and my left armpit has been super swollen. Not lumpy. Just full of fluid which I guess is lymph. It started about 11-13 days after 1st Pfizer. My second is this Weds.

    Moth: Thanks for the links...I was trying not to freak out.

  • MarieW
    MarieW Member Posts: 1

    First post here, I joined as I have lymphedema both arms from mastectomies in 05.

    Had 1st moderna shot and in some concern about the 2nd one coming.

    Been reading about lymph reactions and since i already have lymph issues, im wondering if shot 2 will be safe and not jack me up. Got 1st shot in upper left rump had some reactions so wondering if i should do shot 2. Dr not very helpful with questions.

    How did arm lymphedema people do with shot 2??? I know everyone is different just looking for feedback please?

    Thank you!🌹

  • gmafoley
    gmafoley Member Posts: 5,978

    My doctors office said the could only do them in the arm - I gave her some information that said it can be given in the thigh but haven't heard - Was told if you have to do it in the arm to do it where the least amount of nodes were taken???

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,065

    I was told to say "post mastectomy lymphadema protocol" - which means butt or thigh. Many docs don't like to do shots other than the arm, but I had my COVID shots at a local hospital and they were happy to do my thigh. Obviously this won't work at a large drive-by site. And most drug stores like CVS/Walgreens are unwilling for you to drop 'trou' in their stores. As I mentioned above, I wore shorts under a skirt and it worked well to just pull up the skirt.. For several years I've had all my shots in my thigh at a local Kroger pharmacy. It just takes someone who understand the issue.

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    One of the radiologist, on a TV show, said to wait 4-6 weeks after having the Covid vaccine to have a mammogram due to the side effect of swollen lymph nodes.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,879

    Yes, correct Flashlight. Here is our updated content on the COVID-19 Vaccine and breast cancer.

    Warmly,

    The Mods


  • gmafoley
    gmafoley Member Posts: 5,978

    Just got a notification that she put in my chart that I need injection in my leg YAY. So that is taken care of.

  • Smcdzn
    Smcdzn Member Posts: 2

    I had my first Moderna vaccine on 1/27/21. I had my second Moderna vaccine on 2/25/21. 12-14 days after the first vaccine my mastectomy reconstructed breast was filling with fluid. I had 60 cc of fluid aspirated. It was negative for lymphoma. Doctors are saying it’s probably from over exertion. Since it’s a textured gummy bear they’re recommending removal. But I’m wondering if this was aggravated by the vaccine

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,065

    Gma - GREAT news.Hooray!!!

    Smcdzn - I see this is your first post since 2016. Was that when you had reconstruction? Who is recommending removal of the implant? Why - if it has not ruptured and they think the cause of the swelling is over-exertion? Have you been evaluated by a trained, certified professional for lymphadema? You might want to take a look at this link since LE can happen anytime in your life.

    https://www.stepup-speakout.org/

    Also you might want to search for Purple32's comments after her Moderna shot. She has a number or posts about swelling & side effects of Moderna vaccine. You can see some of the threads at the bottom of this link.

    https://community.breastcancer.org/member/148605/p...

  • rrs
    rrs Member Posts: 16

    I got my second vaccine in my left (non-LE) arm. The National Guard was doing the vaccinations and they said they weren't cleared to do anything other than arm. I got swollen node again but it has finally just about gone away after 4 weeks. Also had a small bruise at the injection site, little arm soreness and fatigue for several days but nothing unmanageable. Nothing near the soreness of the pneumonia vaccine. Good luck to everyone in getting your vaccines.

  • Smcdzn
    Smcdzn Member Posts: 2

    yes, I had reconstruction in 2015. A month ago my site filled with fluid...this has never happened before. I have not had lymphedema. Only sentinel node was removed. My PS, who I trust is suggesting removal, but I go to him this week to discuss further. My implant is Allergan.


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,065

    Please discuss lymphadema. Most docs don't have much education about it, but you can develop it with only a sentinel node removed. Or from radiation.

    Then does your PS think you have had an implant rupture? But if you have the Allergan 410 implants, you would not have fluid since they are cohesive gel. Strange. What does he think is causing the fluid? I am not having my Allergan 410 implants removed since I've had no problems with them since 2011

  • FarAwayToo
    FarAwayToo Member Posts: 79

    I just got back from my 1st vaccine appointment - Pfizer. It was at a large vaccination clinic where privacy (for thigh injection) was an issue. Just a line of people and chairs next to nurses computer stations, easily 20-30 people in the room at a time. I had my oncology nurse enter a note on my appointment to let them know I had a risk of LE on both sides - nodes taken on both sides, but I only have small issues on the right. I was prepared to use my left arm, but as soon as I told them I have LE risk on both sides, they calmly took me into a room and administered the shot into my thigh.

    I'm very glad I read this thread before my appointment and reached out to my oncology office in advance. Also very appreciative of the staff's efforts to accommodate me.

  • rrs
    rrs Member Posts: 16

    I had my booster this past week and it made me feel pretty rotten for about 24 hours - fever, sensitive skin, body aches. My arm was sore but then pain swelling showed up underarm and surrounding areas including breast. It only lasted a few days with a tiny bit of node swelling still. Here is a good article from the NYT. Nice to see media attention to LE.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/well/live/covid...


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,065

    Thanks for posting rrs. I had the first two shots in my thigh. For the booster, the nurse wanted to use my hip. Well OK - just not my arms.

    I found a pharmacist several years ago - at a grocery store pharmacy no less - who will give all my shots in my hip/butt. Last year he recommended switching to my thigh. Interesting reading about why. Then I discovered that many of my friend's age 2+ grandchildren have all their shot in their thighs.